A bilateral mastectomy is a surgical procedure which extirpates mammary glandular tissue. The purpose of the operation is to achieve a flat, symmetrical chest which is anatomically and aesthetically masculine. During their appointments, patients must explain honestly to the surgeon what they expect from the operation and listen to his or her opinion and advice.
Patients are admitted on the day of the operation. To achieve a flat, masculine chest, the team of surgeons at the Gender Unit will perform a subcutaneous mastectomy which will keep the mammary areolas (changing their size to make them masculine) and the nipples. The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic and generally lasts two to three hours. The technique used will depend mainly upon the size of the breasts:
Periareolar technique: when the bust is small, this surgical technique is usually chosen. It involves making an incision around the areola, through which the glandular tissue is extracted. This technique ensures that scarring is minimal.
Extended periareolar technique: this tends to be used in the case of larger breasts. It basically consists in carrying out a periareolar incision, and another one which extends towards the area of the armpit, from where the glandular tissue is extracted. In this case, the scars are more obvious than with the periareolar technique, although they will be hidden over time by body hair.